A MAN who made nearly £80,000 from online gambling after using fraudulent passports, identity cards and false utility bills to open various online accounts has been jailed.

In the first prosecution of its kind, 35-year-old Andrei Osipau, from Plumstead was convicted for committing what is known in the industry as a 'Bonus Abuse'.

This involves stealing other people's identities to open online betting accounts and taking advantage of bonus bets being offered by companies.

He also used internet payment organisations to transfer the criminal proceeds from the online betting account to open bank accounts under false names.

Osipau of Royal Herbert Pavilions in Gilbert Close was apprehended following a joint investigation by detectives from the Met’s Gambling Unit, Project Amberhill, and the UK Gambling Commission.

The scam was identified on February 26 last year when an online betting company received two UK passports bearing different names but the same image within 12 minutes of each other.

The matter was reported through the Gambling Commission who passed it onto the Gaming Unit for investigation.

Officers initially believed the passports were sent from two addresses in Hove and Eastbourne.

However, further investigations established that Osipau had masked his own IP address in order to prevent his actions being discovered.

At his address they discovered more than 5,900 scans of passports, identity cards, utility bills and bank statements relating to people from countries including the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Osipau was sentenced to three years imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court on April 3.

He had pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud, eight counts on possession of articles for use in fraud and one count of transferring criminal property at an earlier hearing.

Head of the Met's Gaming Unit Detective Inspector Ann-Marie Waller said: "This joint investigation with the Gambling Commission demonstrates the Met's commitment to combating high tech organised crime.

“The sentence imposed by the judge today should deter anyone considering committing crime involving stolen or compromised identities."